About the Artwork

Sacred Messages of the Earth

Artists Purpose

This work explores the reasoning behind biophilia, the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings. Researching this intrinsic desire, begins with rigorous hikes through unaltered environments, with focused observation, investigation, and listening. Noticing the cyclical harmony in which all levels of nature coexist. Dougherty’s artwork synchronizes to the rhythm of nature, recognizing the continuous presence and growth of fractal patterns (golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence, etc.). The depths and heights of untouched wilderness epitomize peace, inspiring synergy within each layer. Creating pieces that amplify the message that nature whispers.

The experiments of Physicist Richard Taylor uncovered evidence that fractal patterns affect their viewers brains and emotional states through a stress reduction of 60%. These fractal patterns are imitated in the work to echo the calming physiological affects of nature. 

With appreciation for the sacredness of every living organism the earth supports, and a genuine spiritual relationship to this living earth, Dougherty’s watercolor fields utilize vibration- our commonality. Matter connects us through sound waves, both those we are aware of and those we cannot perceive. Jon Young1 studies the meanings behind the audible voices of nature, while Peter Wohlleben2 found, with proper measuring devices, that there are sonic languages all around us, chemical signals, and electromagnetic pulses forming lines of communication within the trees and fungal systems. Hans Jenny’s findings in Cymatics along with the water work and vibrational experiments carried out by Masaru Emoto, interweave their influence in the background of each creation. Following forest meditations, spoken verbal cues into the liquid mediums emit vibrations of pure intent. The sincerity of nature is incorporated through precipitation and bird/wildlife interaction on wet media. 

Fractals form within the ink and water effortlessly, and the stroboscopic remnants of the spoken or meditative conversations are apparent when these communicative layers of color have dried. In response, the patterns and imagery drawn are chosen from Dougherty’s many expeditions. Subject matter may be symbols with past culturally assigned meanings that resonate with the artists internal emotional progress, or moments where gratitude is recognized. This imagery is intertwined throughout with watercolor, and distinguishes foreground from background with placement and/or additional mark-making. Questioning where objects belong compositionally, the artist plays with direction and placement of foreground and backgrounds/ microscopic to macroscopic perspectives allowing these alternate decisions to stump the viewers rationale. 

In a reality where this world is disintegrating due to human destruction, these surreal landscapes morph in and out of logical realism highlighting a powerful nature we must appreciate and preserve. Sammi Dougherty creates fantastical worlds that, upon viewing, will soothe the audiences’ mind and body, before their return to this reality. “I believe there are many messages from earth, if we take the time to notice and listen. As an artist, I am merely a conduit for these messages.”

1 Young, Jon. What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World. Edited by Dan Gardoqui. New York: Mariner Books, 2013.
2 Wohlleben, Peter. Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate. Vancouver; Berkeley: Greystone Books, 2018.

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